Relatives File $35M Lawsuit in Baltimore Fire Recruit’s Death

April 23, 2010

Relatives of a Baltimore fire department recruit who died during a live-burn exercise have filed a $35 million lawsuit against the city.

Racheal Wilson died in February 2007 after becoming trapped inside a vacant rowhouse that the department set on fire. An independent report found that the training exercise violated dozens of federal standards.

The lawsuit was brought by Wilson’s mother and two school-age children. It contends that fire instructors knowingly created “grossly unsafe” conditions, setting seven fires in the home and failing to draw up an evacuation plan.

City Solicitor George Nilson says Wilson’s death was a “terrible accident” but that the department’s actions don’t meet the standard of “extraordinary negligence.”

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